The crew of the Stratton seized 275 bales of cocaine, estimated to be worth more than $181 million if sold wholesale, and arrested four presumed smugglers.
The Stratton began towing the smuggler’s sub to shore, but the boat began taking on water and ultimately sank in over 13,000 feet of water, taking with it some 4,000 pounds of cocaine left on board as ballast.
In a media statement, Coast Guard officials said the July 18 seizure from the sub is the largest of it’s kind in Coast Guard history.
A U.S. Navy aircraft had detected the 40-foot sub more than 200-miles south of Mexico.
The Stratton is a Legend Class cutter, the Coast Guard’s newest and most capable vessel classification.